Consett returned to the top of Northern League Division One tonight after a commanding 2-0 win at near-neighbours Whickham.
The result, and a surprise 1-0 defeat for Newton Aycliffe at Seaham Red Star, means the Steelmen are top on goal difference.
Terry Mitchell’s side put in an excellent performance at the First Mortgage Glebe Sports Ground, despite being without six first-teamers through injury.
It meant a debut for one new signing, Oliver Scott, at left-back, while a second, James Martin, was on the bench.
Consett took the game to their hosts from the start, and Whickham could count themselves lucky not to be reduced to 10 men on 19 minutes when Dale Pearson robbed centre-back Ben Milburn of possession.
The No 6 pulled him back, and was clearly last man, but the referee saw fit to punish him only with a yellow card instead of red.
Two minutes later the lively Dan Marriott tried his luck from outside the box, and was unlucky to see his shot come back off the post, with the keeper beaten.
Consett took the lead on 23 minutes with a stunning strike from Calvin Smith, who let fly from 35 yards, pictured top, giving Jack Norton no chance.
On 36 minutes it was almost two when Stephen Callen played Pearson in, but this time Milburn got back to clear, though Consett claimed the ball had crossed the line.
On 63 minutes the visitors did double their lead when Jermaine Metz played an excellent one-two with half-time sub Callum Guy, before slipping the ball past Norton.
Norton made a good save from Guy’s 25-yarder to prevent him making it three, and Pearson had another effort cleared off the line, which the away fans behind the goal were convinced should have been a goal.
Sub Ryan King’s through ball gave Guy a chance to wrap up the points with a one-on-one three minutes from the end, but he was again denied by Norton.
The final score of 2-0 didn’t come close to summing up how in control of the game Consett were, as keeper Kyle Hayes didn’t have a serious save to make.
Next up for the Steelmen is a home FA Cup tie on Saturday against Bridlington Town, who lost their opening Northern Premier League East game tonight, 2-0 at Yorkshire Amateur.
- Full match report and more pictures HERE.